Working with co-stars who are twenty years younger than you and watched you since they were kids is a reality check no one really wants.

"It still stings a little mate": Hugh Jackman Realized He Was Getting Old While Playing Wolverine With Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult in X-Men: Days of Future Past

Hugh Jackman broke all our hearts when he revealed that Logan (2017) was going to be his Wolverine’s swan song. But we can’t really blame him, can we? The man had been playing the character since 2000! Perhaps his desire to leave Wolverine and the rest of the X-Men behind stemmed from his time on X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Hugh Jackman in X-Men: Days of Future PastHugh Jackman in X-Men: Days of Future Past
While filming Days of Future Past, Hugh Jackman collaborated with actors like Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult, who were much younger than him. Given their age difference, Hugh Jackman felt much older than he actually was and the co-stars’ shenanigans made him come to the conclusion that he was the old man on the set.

How Nicholas Hoult and Jennifer Lawrence Made Hugh Jackman Feel Old

Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult in X-Men: Days of Future PastJennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult in X-Men: Days of Future Past

Back when Days of Future Past was released in 2014, Hugh Jackman was well into his forties. On the other hand, Nicholas Hoult (Hank/Beast) was only 25. On top of that, Jennifer Lawrence (Raven/Mystique) was a year younger than Hoult. Needless to say, Jackman felt like the odd one out.
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In an interview with Elle (via RTE), Jackman recalled how Hoult came up to him one day and revealed that he had been watching him roam around the halls of the X-Mansion since he was just ten years old. While this was supposed to be a compliment (in a way), Jackman couldn’t help but feel a little pang in his chest.

“The first day we shot in the X-Mansion, Nic said, ‘I’m sorry, but this is just so cool because I saw you walking down these halls when I was 10 years old.’ And I said, ‘I know that’s meant as a compliment, but it still stings a little, mate.’”

He also recalled that while Lawrence and Hoult had a ton of fun on the set, often partying together, it made Jackman feel like an old man who wanted to tell them to keep their voices down.

“That bunch [Lawrence, Hoult] were close on set, all partying together, shooting each other with BB guns in the trailer park. I thought, ‘I’m not going to shush them, because if I tell them to stop they’ll just shoot at my trailer window. So I stayed inside – that’s when you realise you’re the old man now.”

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Clearly, Jackman did not want his feelings to be known as he was quite afraid of being branded as the dad of the group. Thus, the actor decided it would be better for everyone if he kept his thoughts to himself.

Why Did Hugh Jackman Leave Wolverine and Why Did He Return?

Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds as Logan and WolverineHugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool & Wolverine
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld had a big hand in Jackman deciding that he was going to retire his Wolverine. During Variety’s Actors on Actors, the Kate & Leopold actor recalled asking Seinfeld what made him put a full stop to his hit series, Seinfeld. To this, he replied,

“He said, ‘I’ve always believed, you should never spend everything creatively because it’s almost herculean to start up again. You should always have something in the tank.’ Leave the party before it gets too late kind of theory.”

And that was it. Returning from the dinner party, Jackman made up his mind that Logan would be the last his fans see him play Wolverine. Of course, that didn’t really turn out to be true, did it?
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Deadpool 3’s announcement came with a major shock, revealing Jackman’s return as the beloved mutant. However, since he was so adamant about keeping Wolverine retired for good, what made him come back to the character?

Talking to Forbes, Jackman stated,

“I was driving with my family…and it just came to me like a flash. So clear. The question came into my head, ‘What do I really want to do?’ And boom, there it came. And I knew.”

He then rang up his ex-co-star, Ryan Reynolds, to let him know that he wanted to return to the role.

“And by the time I got [to our destination], I rang Ryan, literally got out of the car, rang him and he said, ‘This timing is crazy because we have a meeting with Kevin Feige at 5 o’clock this afternoon.’ … But it really was like a flash.”

Jackman also revealed that he was rock solid on his decision about never playing Wolverine again. He would say no to anyone who asked him about his future with the character. That is until everything changed all of a sudden.

“And I was genuinely out. I was like, ‘I’m cool, I’m done.’ Anyone who asked me, on the street they asked me every single day, I’d say, ‘No, I’m good. I’m done.’ I wasn’t pretending. I really was. And then all of a sudden one day I wasn’t.”

Aren’t we glad Jackman did a 180 on his decision? After all, Deadpool & Wolverine is already looking too good to miss!

Deadpool & Wolverine will release in theaters on July 26, 2024.